- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The University of Mississippi Medical Center has been issued a failing grade on a national patient safety report card.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1jXISti ) that UMMC was the only hospital out of the 33 hospitals rated in the state to receive an F rating on the Hospital Safety Score. The scorecard is run by The Leapfrog Group, an independent, nonprofit hospital watchdog. The score was based on the fall 2015 reporting period.

Grades were based on a number of categories looking at surgeries, infections, staffing levels and other criteria.

Leah Bishop, CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said the report revealed “disturbing” and “really bad things.”

Dr. Michael Henderson, UMMC’s chief medical officer, said UMMC is the “safety net” hospital in Mississippi, treating the “sickest of the sick.” Henderson attributed the failing grade, in part, to the high volume of UMMC trauma patients.

The Leapfrog Group relies on hospitals voluntarily filling out surveys. It also uses data from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Bishop said UMMC scored well below the national average on eight of 13 criteria.

UMMC has declined in the group’s ratings for the past two years, according to data released by the group. The hospital received a C rating in spring and fall 2012 as well as spring 2013. In fall 2013, UMMC slipped to a D rating. It held steady until this fall.

“The bit I worry about is patients being led down the wrong path is seeing an ‘F’ and thinking ‘I won’t go there’ and that’s not right,” Henderson said. “The care here is good, great in most areas.”

“People in the community are getting hurt unnecessarily,” Bishop said. “There are lots of injuries and tragedies in these numbers. I know the community will come together to change this.”

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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